Sunday, December 07, 2008


This old chestnut resurfaces with depressing regularity. These articles inevitably point out half a dozen people (always including Richard Branson) who did very badly at school and then did spectacularly well in later life, but forget to mention the 5 million counter examples who did very badly at school and went on to do even worse when they left. (Or the equally huge number of people who did well at school and then continued to do well afterwards.)

Even if exams are nothing more than exercises in rote learning and jumping through hoops (that's that's how I always treated mine anyway) they do separate those who can learn to do so from those who can't.

I love the statistics in the article- "77% of people do not believe that exams reflect their true intelligence". Well a survey carried out at 11 pm last night found that 100% of a group consisting of some friends and myself did not believe that a bad result in anything reflected our true ability.


Anonymous said...

At last, a proper scientificaly verifiable piece of research which proves what I always believed: my C, D, E at A level (in the 1980s) only reflected the amount of work I did, not my innately high intelligence. Thank you Frank

Anonymous said...

Let's not wonder if the education system is serving us well, let's commiserate with the person who comments bemoaning the fact that he'd gone to Uni under false pretenses; he thought it would be easy to get a girlfriend and it wasn't!

Anonymous said...

Finally, empirical research to support the "Bill Gates dropped out and look at him now" argument.